Janet Lee Warman

Some Things Just Are

Katharine Hepburn with Spencer Tracy

“Doctor’s Son Hangs Self,”
no running from the headlines,
but we made our own stories:
He was replaying a parlor trick,
had called me his “best girl” last night,
and so couldn’t have been depressed.
Mourning was for other families.
We shut it away forever.

I performed.
They wanted Coco Chanel with voice.
My gravel would do fine.
Every night I cringed,
no charm in the sound,
even with the lessons on breathing.
Humiliation before hundreds,
but I gave it to them because they wanted it.

Spence was drunk that night, blind drunk.
If I had told him the next morning
about the belt just over the eye,
he would have been mortified,
good man, good soul, tortured over something,
no need to have my bruises added to his guilt.
He never knew he hit me. He only hit me once.

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